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Jury delivers verdict on murder of Daunte Wright

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury released Thursday’s verdict in the manslaughter trial of the Minneapolis suburban policeman who shot dead black driver Daunte Wright after she said she was wrong gun with his Taser.

The court did not immediately respond to questions about whether the outcome of the trial was a verdict. The jury began deliberations in the Kim Potter case on Monday. Results will be read in court between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. CST.

State sentencing guidelines call for just over seven years in prison when convicted of first-degree manslaughter and four years on second-degree charges, but prosecutors said they plan to push for lengthy sentences. than.

Prosecutor Erin Eldridge argued Monday that Potter had “made a mistake of epic proportions” and did not have a “license to kill.”

However, Potter’s attorney Earl Gray countered in the closing argument that the former Brooklyn Center employee made an honest mistake by pulling out a handgun instead of her Taser and that Wright’s shooting was not a matter of fact. a crime.

In this screen capture video, former Brooklyn Police Officer Kim Potter testifies in court, Friday, December 17, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Potter is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorcyclist, after a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Central . (Court TV, via AP, Pool)

The judges on Thursday continued their deliberations for the fourth day at the manslaughter trial Minneapolis suburban police Who shot the black driver? Daunte Wright, as questions loomed about how the judge would handle the case if the day ended without a verdict before the Christmas holiday weekend.

Jur undisclosed until their work is complete. However, a court spokeswoman said that without a ruling by the end of the day, Judge Regina Chu planned to have them spend the long weekend at home before returning on Monday.

Lawyers not involved in the case said breaking the order would be highly unusual and could lead to a case of confusion.

“I’ve never heard of that in my life,” said Marsh Halberg, a criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis who followed the case. “The whole idea of ​​isolation is that you don’t interact with other people and have intentional or unintentional external influences. Now that goes out the window. ”

Halberg says that Chu can claim a confusion as an alternative to reversing her sort order.

On Tuesday, jurors asked Chu what would happen if they couldn’t reach a verdict, and she told them to keep trying. They have no questions on Wednesday or early Thursday.

Potter, 49 years old, said that she means use her Taser on Wright not her gun. She is charged with first and second degree manslaughter. If found guilty of the most serious offences, she would face a sentence of about seven years under state guidelines, though prosecutors said they would pursue further.

In August, Chu ruled that the jury would be separated during deliberation – meaning jurors would stay under court supervision in an undisclosed hotel and could not return. home until they make a judgment or she determines that they are inaccessible.

However, Chu told jurors in the jury selection that they would have time off on Christmas Eve and Christmas weekend. Court spokesman Nik Nadeau said the judge intends to stick to that plan.

Chu will have to decode them over the weekend – possibly with very strict rules – and then decode them again on Monday.

Halberg said if that happens, Potter’s lawyers will likely object and it would be a good matter of appeal for them if she is convicted after the holiday. However, prosecutors could argue that it can be speculated that the holiday hurts jurors’ ability to fairly review the case.

But Halberg said otherwise, if Chu told the members of mostly white juries that they have to stay separate during the long weekend after telling them in the first place that they will have time off, that could also appeal if they return to a belief.

Mike Brandt, another Minneapolis attorney after the lawsuit, agreed that it would be “devastating” to let the jury work over Christmas. But he says he has a problem with jury breaking because it goes against all that is about sequencing.

He said under criminal procedure rules, a case settlement is required when a case is so well known that highly prejudiced issues are likely to attract the attention of a juror if they are not separate.

“This case fits smack dab into it. … The whole idea of ​​deconfinement is that they don’t want these juries to be influenced from the outside,” Brandt said.

Transparent close argument, prosecutors charged Potter with an “error of epic proportions” in Wright’s death during an April 11 traffic stop, but they said making a mistake was defenceless.

Potter’s attorneys protested that Wright, who was trying to evade officers as they tried to handcuff him over a weapons warrant, facilitated his own death.

Wright’s death sparked angry protests in Downtown Brooklyn just as nearby Minneapolis was competing with judge another white officer in the killing of George Floyd.

Potter, who resigned two days after Wright’s death, Friday witness that she “didn’t want to hurt anyone” and that she was “sorry that it happened.”

Chu told jurors that the state did not need to prove that Potter tried to kill Wright.

The judge said for first-degree manslaughter, prosecutors must prove that Potter caused Wright’s death while committing the crime of reckless handling of a firearm. This means they must demonstrate that she committed a conscious or intentional act while handling or using a weapon that posed a substantial or improper risk that she was aware of. and disinterested, and that she jeopardizes safety.

For second-degree manslaughter, prosecutors must prove she acted with reprehensible negligence, meaning she consciously caused death or major bodily harm.

Bauer reports from Madison, Wisconsin.

https://kfor.com/news/jury-reaches-outcome-in-trial-over-daunte-wrights-killing/ Jury delivers verdict on murder of Daunte Wright

JACLYN DIAZ

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